If you are thinking of claiming medical negligence for you or a loved one, here are some things you ought to know.
When you are hurt and the people who are supposed to heal you make things worse, it can be a long and painful road to recovery. There can be days so dark it seems like there is no end in sight. It is important that you keep focused on your recovery and leave the worrying about payments to other people.
11 Things to Know about Medical Negligence Claims
If you are sick and tired of being sick and tired, read these 11 things you should know about getting comeuppance for your misery.
1 – Hire a Professional
You need to hire a medical negligence specialist to help you get compensation for your mistreatment. Johnston Law Firm, an Oregon personal injury law firm, have ample experience and a sterling reputation as a law firm you can rely on.
Your attorney needs to be a specialist in medical negligence claims. We can’t state this enough. A generic lawyer won’t have the same experience and therefore has less tricks up their sleeve.
2 – There will be a Statute of Limitations
Depending on which country you live in, the statute of limitations will vary. In most US states it is 2 years, and it starts from the moment you have your accident. You can be mid-process at the two-year point, but you must have already started legal proceedings. Otherwise, it is outside of the time limit and a sensible judge will toss it out of court.
If you are a child, your statute of limitations starts at 18 years old and ends at 20 years old. That way, you can claim for yourself against medical negligence against you in your younger years.
3 – Misdiagnosis is the Commonest Form of Medical Negligence
Misdiagnosis is a form of medical negligence, and it can kill you. It is the most common reason Americans claim medical negligence, every year. Roughly 12 million people are affected annually and between 40 and 80 thousand people die from it each year. Among those at greatest risk were minorities and women who are 20-30% more likely to be misdiagnosed than white men.
Misdiagnosis is usually harmless and won’t count as medical negligence unless it results in serious harm to the patient. For example, the removal of an organ or body part that didn’t need to be removed.
4 – Doctors Falsify Records
In some pretty famous cases, hospitals and doctors have been found to falsify medical records to show other than what is alleged. In some cases, doctors have been sent to jail over this, and hospitals have had to pay out millions of dollars in compensation.
5 – Birthing Damages have the Highest Payouts
If you lose a child or a child is severely injured during the birthing process, horrific as it may be for you, these have the highest payouts. Many cases involve children that are distressed and can’t get out of the womb quickly enough, resulting in a lack of blood flow to the brain. Nursing staff and doctors can be held accountable if there was something they could have done but didn’t.
In 2012, in California, one patient’s daughter was born with cerebral palsy which the baby did not have in scans. The hospital didn’t give the patient an episiotomy, which would have prevented the child from being starved of oxygen. The baby was born with cerebral palsy and the family were awarded $74.5 million to take care of the child. The hospital was found guilty of falsifying records and not intubating the child when it was born, either.
6 – You have the Burden of Proof
You have to keep notes of everything, write down all that you can remember about the experience. Take photos of your recovery and note any days when you weren’t in the hospital’s care. In some cases, hospitals have falsified records to say that the patient was healthy on days that they weren’t even in hospital. This is a good way to catch them out.
7 – You probably won’t need a Trial
In 90% of medical negligence cases, the plaintiff and the accuser are able to make an agreement as to how much should be paid out. If the opposition believes that they will lose in court, they will offer you money to keep it out of court. Even if they think they will win in court, they might still try to settle because it costs them less.
Either way, you probably won’t need a trial and they will likely settle before it gets that far.
8 – A Medical Malpractice Lawyer might turn down your case
A lawyer might turn down your case for any number of reasons. They may think you won’t win; they may be too big a company for a small payout, or they may be too small a company to front the costs on a no win, no fee basis.
If you have had your claim for medical negligence turned down, try asking another firm for a second opinion. Try to change to a larger or smaller firm when you do so.
9 – It Takes Time
Just as there are time limits on your ability to make a claim, so too will there be a lengthy waiting process before you can get back to business as usual. It takes a long time for these things to get worked out between insurers, judges, and medical negligence attorneys. This is why it’s so important to find a great lawyer who will work for you in these areas.
10 – Compensation is Calculated Per Case
The amount of compensation you are likely to get is dependent on how much you can prove. You must keep all receipts and financial records of costs incurred, or missed workdays, so that these can be added to the total. The lawyer will add their fee, and then you could discuss how severe the injury was, how much it cost your quality of life, if you lost earnings, inheritance, abilities and any other points.
Medical Negligence is there for the Claiming
Getting compensation might be the farthest thing from your mind, but we assure you that it’s needed. Medical bills run high and, when the cause is someone else’s fault, you shouldn’t be left fitting the bill.